Television ads against Wilhelm don’t tell the whole story
I have received three pieces of campaign literature and have watched television ads produced by a corporation named “Priorities for Iowa, Inc.” This corporation uses a post office box in Des Moines and gives the impression that it is organized in Iowa. If it were, in fact, incorporated in Iowa, it would have to disclose the organizers, officers, and directors of the corporation. Where is it incorporated?Ask Jimmy Centers, he is identified as the executive director of Priorities for Iowa, Inc. He was Governor Branstad’s press agent from 2009 through September 2015 and left that position to assume a “career in the private sector.”We don’t know where Jimmy Centers’ money comes from, because all of Priorities financial records are dark, since no one wants to be associated with their message. We will never learn for whom Jimmy is speaking, but it is reasonable to believe they do not reside in the 26th Senatorial District of Iowa. The stated purpose of Priorities for Iowa Inc. is to elect an independent voice for Iowa in Washington. Why all this attention on and money spent on a State Senate race? It doesn’t make sense.The money listed in each of the fliers is a ruse to get voters to believe that our state’s capital does not deserve any appropriations from the state’s budget. If these appropriations were so undeserved, why didn’t Jimmy Center’s former boss line item veto them? Governor Terry Branstad agreed that these were reasonable appropriations.In 2008, a lot of Iowa was flooded and was in need of financial help. The $650 million indicated in Priorities’ flier did not cover all of the help that was needed but it did help a lot of Iowans and local governments recover. New furniture for a courthouse in the largest county in the state (again, indicated in the flier) does cost money and old furniture does need to be replaced. Counties provide the space, but the state court system has to furnish the furniture. What would Jimmy Centers do? Have us use folding chairs and card tables in the courtrooms?Clearly, Priorities for Iowa does not like an international golf tournament that will bring thousands of visitors to Iowa, improvements and repairs to our zoo, Cubs baseball, the city bus service or city sidewalks, calling support of these as “reckless spending” and a “Senate Spending Spree.” Each of these expenditures generates revenues for the community of Des Moines and the State of Iowa. Compare the $3.5 million identified in the literature with the many millions of tax dollars that Governor Branstad handed to a North Carolina meat packing company, an Egyptian fertilizer company or California internet and computer giants. Jimmy Centers’ literature also implies our senator killed the House bill dealing with water quality. This is misleading at best. The Republican House leadership refused to pass a sales tax increase—approved by voters—to fund the clean-up of our rivers and streams because they took a solemn pledge to never to increase taxes. If funding for water quality is to be passed through the Republican House, something will have to go. What will go? Schools? Roads? Law Enforcement? Restaurant, hospital, or nursing home inspections?Senator Mary Jo Wilhelm understands that the 26th Senatorial District is one of 50 districts in Iowa and she must work together with other Senators to make the State of Iowa even greater and we must be prepared to meet the challenges of the future. I support Mary Jo Wilhelm as my Senator in the legislature.